From server to radiator: Asetek sends surplus heat directly to consumers

The technology company Asetek now sends the company’s surplus heat directly into the district heating network.


Read the original article from TV2Nord here:


There is a lot of potential in the surplus heat data centers generate. That is one of the first experiences gained from a mini project, which have started in Aalborg. The DDI member, Asetek, has been able to connect its water-cooled servers from its data center to Aalborg’s district hearting network. This means that the surplus heat is passed directly from servers to consumers.

The project has received a great deal of attention, as it has the potential of being a full year-round heating of all households in Aarhus, Aalborg and Odense.

– It is crucial that we in Denmark include the future data centers in the green transition in an energy efficient way. Utilization of waste heat from the data centers to district heating is very central, and in this connection Asetek’s technology is particularly interesting, says Henrik Lund, professor of energy planning at Aalborg University, who researches the collaboration between district heating networks and data centers.

He sees great perspectives on the project in Aalborg.

– I would call it an international breakthrough that demonstrates how a water-cooled server can be connected directly to a district heating supply. A wider spread of this and similar energy-efficient technologies requires collaboration between the data center and district heating industries. As a university, we would like to take this lead,”says Henrik Lund.

Cowi, together with pipe manufacturer Logstor, has designed the plant, where the heat from Asetek’s server room is connected directly to the city’s district heating network outside the street.

Google and Fredericia Maskinmesterskole inaugurated photovoltaic systems

On February 4, 2020, Fredericia Maskinemesterskole (Mechanical Engineering School) inaugurated a new solar cell plant on the roof of the school. In doing so, Google, Fredericia Maskinmesterskole and Fredericia Municipality formally marked the collaboration between the school and the tech giant.

Read the original article here

It was a celebration day for Fredericia Maskinmesterskole that could now showcase the new solar system that Google has invested in.

Torben Dahl, Principal of Fredericia Maskinmesterskole, welcomed in English as Google representatives were also present, including the Head of Google’s Data Center in Fredericia, Arni Jonsson.

The principal emphasized the purpose of renewable energy and how the facility can help strengthen the educatoin for the students in the area.

“We are very grateful to have received the donation from Google, and I would like to thank them for their cooperation,” Torben Dahl said. At the same time, he also thanked Fredericia Municipality for the interest and support for the exciting project.

Arni Jonsson from Google expressed his gratitude to Fredericia Maskinmesterskole for the opportunity to work with the school on the project:

“It’s been a year since we first met to discuss the opportunities. We see it as a natural step for us in the countries where we set up data centers, so for us it was important to establish this collaboration with the school”. Jonsson further expressed that he hopes that the project is only the first step on a long journey, as Google does not perceive it to be a standalone project, but as part of continuous projects.

After this, mayor of Fredericia Municipality, Jacob Bjerregaard, held a speech where he thanked Fredericia Maskinmesterskole and Google for the collaboration.

“When we welcomed Google to Fredericia a couple of years ago, we talked discussed the fact that one thing was a big data center and the many jobs – but something else was the whole education part. So we have had many good conversations over the years about how we can cross-pollinate Fredericia’s educational environment,” Bjerregaard explained.

He stated that the collaboration between Fredericia Maskinmesterskole and Google had succeeded, and at the same time he emphasized that the municipality is really happy about it. He also thanked the municipality’s committees and employees for succeeding in turning thoughts into realities, as well as the efforts they make to make it happen.

“More educational spots and a collaboration with the business community – we are quite proud of that,” the mayor added, who is in the belief that the efforts that had been put into the course 3-4 years ago is now starting to succeed.

After Jacob Bjerregaard cut the string and officially inaugurated the plant, the attendees were invited to the roof of Fredericia Maskinmesterskole, where a beautiful view over the water and solar plant awaited.


Odense data center– economic impact and community benefits

With a joint push of a huge “Like button”, Facebook’s new data center in Odense, Denmark, was put into operation on 12th September 2019.  DDI looks at the impact of the data center on a local and national plan, and what other local communities should factor in when attracting data center builds to their regions.

The opening of the Facebook site in Odense highlights that data centers can be run “the green Danish” way, given that the entire energy consumption of the data center is powered by renewable energy, whilst the surplus heat is set to heat 6,900 households in Odense.

“We are always looking for innovative technology for our infrastructure, and we are impressed about the reuse of the surplus heat project. We therefore want to look at how we can use and implement similar solutions across our global CO2 emissions,” said Facebook Vice President Rachel Peterson at the inauguration ceremony in Odense.

The Danish Minister of Climate, Energy and Utilities, Dan Jørgensen, who also participated in the inauguration, was also full of praise for the unique Danish solution with focus on recycling of surplus heat.

Facebook data center – facts and figures

So, what does a data center do to the local and regional community? People working within IT know exactly what a data center is and what it takes to run the actual center. But what do the local communities and their politicians, who are competing for new data center investments, get out of a data center deal?

The internet giant commissioned IHS Markit to evaluate the economic contribution of Facebook’s European data centers in their respective countries from 2011-2018 (IHS Markit 2019) as highlighted in below figure.

Source: The Economic Contributions of Facebook Data Centers in Denmark, Ireland & Sweden, IHS Markit 2019 


The study highlights Facebook’s contribution to Denmark’s economy through its capital expenditures (construction and equipment), operational expenses and direct wages. In addition to these figures, Facebook highlights its contributions to renewable energy targets as well as their Community Action Grant Programme.

What is yet to be factored in those numbers, are the operational expenses once the facility is completed, as well as investments in lifecycle management of the equipment and servers, as a typical data center requires a refresh every 5 years or so. The Facebook site in Odense is expected to create approximately 170 permanent jobs.

Jobs vs. capital investment vs. innovation – the data center effect

During the construction phase, data centers support a significant amount of jobs. However, once the facility is built, permanent jobs can typically range from anything from 5 to 150+ people depending on the facility. In comparison, headquarters, manufacturing plants or other type of shared services, could easily bring well over 1,000 jobs to a local community instead. Thus, many critics wonder why incentives are being offered to companies building data centers, given their low employment rates?

A key goal for policy makers, from a city level to a national level, is to grow tax revenues, and one way to do this is through job creation. This is where capital investment should be considered when discussing the benefits of data center investments. Capital investment is also a driver of tax revenue growth, which is often overlooked.

As highlighted by the Odense facility, data centers are highly capital-intensive. Significant investments go into construction, purchasing of equipment, materials, power consumption, direct local expenditures and more. Whilst one can argue that these are temporary,  data center builds can often last from 5-10 years, which is a significant period of time a local community’s economic activities are stimulated.

Long term impacts and spillover effects should also not be ignored. Data center operators tend to upgrade the surrounding infrastructure to meet their requirements, which often includes roads, water, sewer and power infrastructure systems. These infrastructure developments also tend to support a boost in employment in those sectors.

Finally, data centers tend to seek out locally inspired solutions, new innovations and approaches to their energy and operational efficiencies. From using local vendors, to finding solutions such as the heat recovery project, data centers can indeed inspire and be inspired by their local communities.

A nation or region should therefore (if not more) be motivated to attract data center developments, as it would in any other typical economic development project, given the significant benefits to the economy and local infrastructure systems.

A warm welcome to Facebook in Odense – we are delighted that you placed your facility in Denmark and chose to run it the “green Danish way”.


DataCenterGruppen delivered a complete server room in only 10 weeks

DTU Campus Risø has just expanded its data power with a supercomputer consisting of 524 servers with 16,768 cores. DataCenterGruppen has delivered the server container, all connections and the devices, where the servers are installed and now in operation.

One of Denmark’s largest server parks is located a little north of Roskilde at DTU Campus Risø, which is part of the Technical University of Denmark, where among other things wind energy is being researched and different energy models are being simulated.

In the northern part of DTU Campus Risø, a dozen oversize containers have been gathered in a secluded area during the past six years. Here, the supercomputers of various educational institutions are being kept. The newest container in the server park belongs to DTU, who a few months ago received it in total contract from DataCenterGruppen.

– We made a tendering procedure with three invited companies, where we rated their prices and solution descriptions. DataCenterGruppen was chosen because of their solution, match and economy, says Head of Department Bent Bøgelund Hansen, DTU.

– In addition, DataCenterGruppen’s electricity and cooling departments are responsible for servicing the daily operations, adds engineer Esben Højrup.

The new supercomputer is budgeted for a total of DKK 25 million, of which the price of the server container delivered turn key with all electricity and cooling installations is running up to a little more than DKK 7 million.

Inside the container that is the server room for the new supercomputer at DTU Risø. From the right: Department leader Bent Bøgelund Hansen, AIT net Group, AIT Risø Campus; engineer Esben Højrup, CAS Risø; and project manager Lars Falkenberg Rasmussen, DataCenterGruppen.


Tight Schedule

– From receiving the order on the server container until it was in operation, only 10 weeks passed. We were under pressure, but we kept the schedule, smiles Lars Falkenberg Rasmussen.

The server container is designed to be used for multiple generations of computers.

– It is our experience that a new generation of computers, which the server container is installed with, can last for 1-4 years, after which we have to follow the development and upgrade to a new generation. That’s why we require that the server container can last for 2-3 generations of computers, elaborates Bent Bøgelund Hansen.

The new server container is mounted on top of another server container – and they are even constructed so that a third server container can be mounted on top of the existing ones.


More subcontractors

DataCenterGruppen does not have all the expertise in-house, so the server container itself was delivered by Jytas A/S, who scaled up two 40-foot containers in width and height to the required size, after which they were grouped into one container. The container is designed so that, if necessary, another container can be mounted upstairs.

One of the biggest challenges with the server rooms is the cooling, as the tightly mounted computers are  warming quite a lot.

– The container is for 30 racks, where we have to cool with 500 kW in extremely limited space. Therefore, we always demand to get space for as many servers as possible because refrigeration and installations cost the same regardless of the number, Esben Højrup says.

Therefore, DataCenterGruppen, together with their subcontractor, Weiss Doppeltbodensystem from Germany, constructed a special floor of double units, so the cooling provides double cooling capacity compared to the traditional cooling solution. This means safer, redundant and much more efficient cooling from the two active refrigeration supplies. Behind the servers you can keep the temperature on 37 degrees, while in the corridors you can lower the temperature to 22 degrees.

For the delivery of the 30 racks and additional 8 in-line cooling units (type LCP), DataCenterGruppen chose Rittal A/S, which specializes in infrastructure solutions. At the same time, AB Electric (A/S) has been responsible for the power supply.

– We have had an absolutely perfect collaboration with DataCenterGruppen. So we are ready to return, concludes Bent Bøgelund Hansen, DTU.





Further information can be obtained from:

DataCenterGruppen – Holmstrupgårdsvej 2, 8220 Brabrand

Phone +45 7025 2777

Director, Bent Møller, ,+ 45 4030 9433

Project Leader, Lars Falkenberg Rasmussen,, +45 3061 6079



Journalist, Per Raahauge, + 45 2170 7979

High-resolution photos are available on request



About DataCenterGruppen

DataCenterGruppen provides scalable solutions within refrigeration, electrical installation, monitoring and fire safety to hosting centres and server spaces – either as single services or as turn-key projects, so the customer gets one contact and one responsibility. DataCenterGruppen as a total supplier wants to take the complexity out of the establishment and operation and make it simple to handle.

DataCenterGruppen is nationwide with branches in Copenhagen, Aarhus, Kolding, Grenaa and Holstebro. Behind the company is the highly competent and service-minded company – Multi Køl & Energi A/S.

The company is an authorized refrigeration company with ISO 9001 certification, is a member of the heat pump system VPO and the refrigeration industry quality assurance System KKO. This ensures products and services of the highest quality and that the sizing and installation of systems are correct and in accordance with applicable law. Multi Køl & Energi is also a member of AKB, which is the trade association for authorised refrigeration companies in Denmark. Additionally, it is also connected to the association’s environmental scheme KMO, which follows a series of environmental agreements on environmental management and disposal of refrigerants.


Data Center conference to focus on sustainability

Danish Data Center Industry, in collaboration with the UNEP-DTU Partnership, will be hosting an event for regional and international data center stakeholders. Data Centers Denmark will be taking place on 15 May 2019 at the UN City in Copenhagen, with a key focus on IT infrastructure energy challenges.

As the data center industry experiences rapid growth and consumes a vast amount of power, governments, infrastructure operators and technology giants increasingly recognize the need for smart energy usage from both a commercial and public perspective.

Danish Data Center Industry (DDI) has teamed up with UNEP-DTU Partnership for an event, bringing together industry professionals along with energy infrastructure experts, policy makers and regulators, to collectively tackle the rapidly escalating energy usage of data centers.

“We are delighted to host an event in Copenhagen together with the UNEP-DTU Partnership, that seeks to gather the industry to address key issues facing the global data center industry, whilst highlighting Danish innovations within green energy solutions. Denmark has a lot to offer in terms of green energy solutions, and therefore it is important that we utilize our potential”, said Henrik Hansen, CEO of Danish Data Center Industry.

UNEP-DTU Partnership driving the sustainability agenda

Fittingly, the event will take place in the UN City, an impressive and sustainable building.  DDI hopes to set a precedent for building and operating sustainable digital IT infrastructure.

The event Co-Host, UNEP-DTU Partnership, a leading international research and advisory institution on energy, climate and sustainable development, is also set to present at the event.

“Currently, the world’s data centres consumes about 3% of global electricity, and by 2025 up to 20% of all electricity in the world is expected to be used in connection to the datacenter industry. This economic and environmental impact requires both the industry and policymakers around the world to focus on developing energy efficient data centers as part of a sustainable landscape,” says Gabriela Dias, Head of Strategy at UNEP-DTU Partnership.

“With sustainability being the core pillar of the event, we are delighted to welcome industry stakeholders at the UN City in Copenhagen to discuss how energy efficient data centers can be a part of the solution to a sustainable future,” she adds.

The event will be attended by major industry stakeholder such as Facebook, European Commission, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Uptime Institute, Google, Danske Bank, GlobalConnect A/S, DigiPlex, Interxion and many more regional and international stakeholders.

Register for the event

If you are interested in joining the event, you can register here


The Danish Data Center Industry (DDI) is the industry body representing the Danish data center ecosystem and was born out of the want to make it easier for operators to do business with Denmark. To date, both the private and the public sector in Denmark have very well received DDI with an ever-growing member community.

ABOUT UNEP-DTU Partnership

UNEP DTU Partnership is a leading international research and advisory institution on energy, climate and sustainable development. The partnership conducts in-depth research, policy analysis, and capacity building activities, to assist developing countries in their efforts to progress towards a climate resilient low carbon future.
UNEP DTU Partnerships Copenhagen Centre on Energy Efficiency is the thematic hub for energy efficiency under the SEforALL Initiative with prime responsibility to support action towards doubling the rate of improvement in energy efficiency by 2030.

NOVENCO A/S secures significant Facebook order

DDI member NOVENCO Building & Industry A/S, a market leader in energy efficient direct “free cooling” solutions for data centers, has received two significant orders from Facebook

The Danish company NOVENCO A/S, with its headquartes in Naestved in Denmark, will be providing cooling solutions for two new Facebook data center buildings in the USA. The scope is to deliver direct “free cooling” solutions consisting of Fan Arrays and Relief Fans, based on NOVENCO`s unique and patented ZerAx® fan technology. All the equipment will be delivered in 2019.

“We are proud to have won our largest order ever in NOVENCO`s history for the delivery of customized cooling solutions for our clients´ mission critical data centers. Since our first deliveries to Facebook`s data center in Luleå, Sweden, we have invested heavily in further refining the design and implementing new advanced technology, achieving the market`s highest levels of efficiency and lowest TCO over the expected data center lifetime of >20 years. NOVENCO`s patented technology and high focus on the data center market, has already received high attention from several large players in the Hyperscale data center space”, sayid Lars Knaack, CEO at NOVENCO Building & Industry in the company’s official press release.

Facebook data centers are renowned for having very low PUE values and amongst the most advanced and energy efficient in the world.

“We are thrilled to hear about NOVENCO’s success in securing these significant orders from a global company who is renowned for its commitment to sustanability and energy efficiency. It is a testament to the innovative and world-class green ICT solutions coming from Denmark, and the DDI will continue to support its members on the global data center market,” says Henrik Hansen, CEO at the Danish Data Center Industry.


About NOVENCO Building & Industry

NOVENCO Building & Industry A/S is a Danish company founded in 1947 and has more than 70 years of experience with the design, manufacture and operation of fans. The focus is on efficient, reliable and best-in-class products for superior ventilation within the industrial, commercial and public sectors all over the world.

The company is certified according to ISO 9001 and 14001.

Since 2015 NOVENCO Building & Industry is a Member of SCHAKO Group, a leading European company for air management systems.

For more information:

Lars Knaack, CEO NOVENCO Building & Industry

Phone: +45 5578 1110

John Jørgensen, Director Sales NOVENCO Building & Industry

Phone: +45 5578 1580


About DDI

The Danish Data Center Industry (DDI) is the industry body representing the Danish data center ecosystem and was born out of the want to make it easier for operators to do business with Denmark. To date, both the private and the public sector in Denmark have very well received DDI with an ever-growing member community.

For more information:

Merima Dzanic, Danish Data Center Industry

Phone: +45 20155121


DigiPlex, a Nordic data centre colocation provider, has recently joined the Danish Data Center Industry (DD)) to share knowledge, participate to the expansion of the digital economy in the Denmark, and further their reach into the regional data center market.

Denmark was an obvious target for DigiPlex. The Nordic data centre company has a strong reputation in designing, building and operating data centres in Norway and Sweden – all with a strong focus on innovation, sustainability and security.

“We have seen a very interesting development in the Danish market over the last couple of years due to a successful national strategy to prioritise and invest in fibre connections and the right energy setup. Denmark has recognised the potential of the data centre market and is well-placed due to its central location close to Germany and the rest of mainland Europe”, says Gisle M. Eckhoff, CEO of DigiPlex.

With the opening of the Copenhagen data centre in May, DigiPlex’s portfolio has grown to nearly 340,000 sqf of data centre space across five sites: one in Denmark, one in Sweden and three in Norway.

The 17,200 sqf building is approximately 10 minutes’ drive from Copenhagen’s International airport at Kastrup. DigiPlex joins the likes of Facebook and Google, which are also building and/or planning data centres in Denmark.

“We are looking forward to be joining the Danish Data Center Industry Association alongside the other regional and international heavyweight members”, says Mark Kjeldstrøm, Operations Manager at DigiPlex in Denmark.

Henrik Hansen, Director of DDI adds: “The Nordic data center market is experiencing tremendous growth in recent years, creating vast opportunities for the regional market. With the latest announcements and activities, we are excited to be welcoming DigiPlex to Denmark and to our executive member roster. DigiPlex has a strong reputation in sustainability, security and resiliency, which is high on the agenda for the association. We look very much forward to our mutual collaboration on developing the industry in Denmark and the Nordics.”

About DigiPlex

DigiPlex designs, builds and operates data centres in the Nordic region. The company specialises indelivering tailored, secure and resilient environments with the highest possible availability. Both private and public organisations, including security-sensitive customers such as government and financial institutions, trust DigiPlex data centre solutions. All DigiPlex data centres are powered exclusively by sustainable sources of electricity. Read more at

About Danish Data Center Industry

The Danish Data Center Industry (DDI) serves the purpose of attracting more data center investments to Denmark. As the industry association, we represent the interests of the private sector, municipalities and utility companies operating within the data center supply chain. Read more at

Data Center Investments: Nordics vs. FLAPS

Derek Webster,  Andget Ltd Consulting

In a FLAP or in the wrong tier location? 

Why are European data centers in a FLAP (Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam and Paris)? Also called ‘Tier 1 locations’ where there is high concentrations of data center investments?

They are approximately above and below latitude N 50°, which also has the highest concentration of Europe’s population.  In data center terms that means close to end-users, volume and what web giants call ‘Eye-Balls’ to content. Coincidence?  No. It reflects a time when being close to markets, its corporations and users were key, to meeting the business case, close to communication networks and exchanges.

Since Internet Service Providers emerged in the late 1980s, mainly in the FLAP region, and the invention of the World-Wide-Web in 1990, we have seen social media bring people closer globally, and the birth of a new global digital economy. 34% of investors questioned in the ‘2018 EY Attractiveness Survey Europe’ show The Digital Economy as the leading investment class. Data centers are the heart and lungs of the underlying infrastructure.

The increase in fibre volume deployment and optical algorithms over the last 25 years has redefined some business metrics. We are moving from ‘where are you?’ to ‘how fast are you?’ as a more relevant measure.  In cross-border terms, this is a revolution in changes to strategic thinking and activity.  Global data traffic is more than 1 Zettabyte and will triple by 2021 with cross border traffic seeing huge growth.

If we had a ‘how fast are you’ land map drawn in milliseconds (ms) speed and plot the speed and bandwidth needed for digital applications & service type. Back-Office,  analytics to HPC applications may not need fast networks, whereas high-speed trading, edge IoT, gaming, cache/video & streaming will do. What an informative map this would be to assess market reach against a FLAP latitude N 50°. To add some context some large network providers will tell you that they can reach anywhere within Europe in 50 ms, (1ms = just under 300,000 km/s or the speed of light. 5ms is a camera flash and 120ms is a blink of an eye). This again asks use new digital age questions in our thinking of a location.

With this dynamic map data type we could define a ‘Tier Service Location Layer’ (TSLL) map/concept which could be applied to ‘where the data center could be aligned to market reach with speeds’.  Should we include applications/services/foot print impact types, we start to adjust traditional business norms and terms to investment location criteria. We could summarise this in 3 location speed layers. TSL Layer 1 is dedicated to fast services with the need for speed.  TSL Layer 2 for bulk commercial market reach and cloud, and where TSL Layer 3 includes slower latency and some cloud functions.

Investment and the case for not being in a FLAP

Data center location & site selection is the biggest single physical decision you will make that effects CAPEX & OPEX numbers.  Location is also the biggest decision in terms of total costs relative to market reach.  However, not being in a FLAP region could well be an advantage for lower speed applications (TSL Layer 2&3). Considering the link of location to speed, you may end up with your data center on a short list out of a FLAP city, FLAP country, or even out of a region. When you consider the 50ms or better speed numbers, your Mediterranean regional market reach going north could be provisioned from a data center in the Nordics (generally Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden).

Let’s consider the Nordics

Perceived as a ‘Tier 2’ data center market, the Nordics have in recent years seen investments from cloud and hyperscale players, with Facebook, Google, and Apple all choosing to locate in Denmark. In Sweden Facebook is set to expand, whilst AWS announced 3 builds in the country. In Norway Microsoft is set to invest in multiple data center locations, whilst Google is expanding its operations in Finland. But it is not just the hyperscale players providing FDI; enterprises and colocation providers are increasingly investing in the Nordics.

If we consider the benefits of not being in a FLAP to the €1.4tr GDP Nordic region and its estimated $3+bn recently invested in data centers (Global top 10 in capital expenditure in the last 12 – 18 months for FDI according to BroadGroup Consulting), what would we find in addition to the Nordic nations sharing the Nordic Cross of their national flags? Some of the key points are:

  • Speed to Market in a Safe Location: Politically and environmentally stable with municipalities that are welcoming the data center sector and able to offer fast permit process, supporting real estate provision in placing the runway for FDIs to land. Nordic nations rank highly in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index. This year Denmark #3, Norway #8, Sweden #10, Finland #13.
  • Low Cost Low Carbon Secure Power: Providing low carbon or carbon neutral renewable energy resources at favourable rates with extended fixed terms. Governments have provided tax reductions and promoted energy security. Colo power SLA is key to a reputation metric where we see Nordic data center energy availability is said to be 800MW. In my view an underestimate as it has been reported that 5.5GW of renewable energy is available in brown and greenfield locations in this non-FLAP region. Norway’s Kolos project is offering 1GW of real estate asset alone. The World Energy Council’s Energy Trilemma Index rates countries’ energy performance around the world and monitors. In the 2017 Global report overall we see: #1 Denmark, #2 Sweden, #7 Norway.
  • Connectivity: AWS cited proximity to internet exchanges as a key factor to landing in the North. Denmark has direct fibre to the USA and will be the landing point in Q4 2019 for another USA link. There are existing fibre links from Norway to the UK and new routes in the planning, yet we see Finland looking to access the proposed North East Passage ($850m 10,000Km Polar fibre route) from China which is expected to cut Asia to Europe speeds by half. We may be seeing the quickest routes to moving traffic globally via the North!
  • Total Cost of Ownership: Lower land , power, near free-cooling/costs make for a good start. Not many regions have the infrastructure to reuse data center heat in bulk thus offering an added business and green consideration. For example, 10% of the heat in Stockholm is generated by data centers, whilst in Finland the Yandex data center supplies hot water to Mäntsälä City district heating system reducing CO2 emissions by up to 40%.
  • Eco-systems & Active Government Support: World class education and high skills capability from long established technology and high availability sectors, even data center education vocational courses are emerging rapidly. The Nordic Nations have Government agency data center teams helping via their ‘Invest in’ Nation departments and municipalities


The right questions

Recently I was consulting to an Asian enterprise on their data center site selection strategy. They were considering investing in their first site in Europe. One of their main criteria was market reach to English speakers, and they assumed London would be the obvious location. Yet, in the rules of the ‘digital age’ was that the right question?  I explained in my initial report that in Western Europe, excluding the UK, there were 99 million English speakers, with an additional 21.5 million in the Nordics, and that Ireland with 98% English speakers is 1% more than the UK itself and the Nordics close by. When taking their 50ms latency figure into consideration, it was clear to the client that this locations scope was much wider than their initial perceived notion. The ‘where are you’ question was limiting and not the right one to ask for this metric aligning to the services, yet ‘how fast do you need to be?’ to access your market offered more possibilities.

Digital rules are busting traditional thinking to obtain better returns on investment in many ways. With global data center traffic set to increase significantly, we will see even more data centers being built in all shape, sizes and forms in various markets, serving different purposes. The data center investment landscape is changing in tandem with new technological advances, and operators need to align their strategies accordingly.


Derek Webster has been working in the data center industry for 25+, leading teams and delivering innovative solutions to the sector. Derek has extensive experience in data center design and build. In recent years, he has been specialising in site selection, helping governments & development agencies to review and align Foreign Direct Investors (FDI), attractiveness and ‘Added Value’ to their National offer’s.

The “Open” opportunity for the Danish data center ecosystem: Interview with OCP’s John Laban

The Open Compute Project (OCP) is an open source hardware community movement which aims to bring transparency to hardware development by sharing ideas and innovations collectively to be better and more efficient. The non-profit OCP Foundation started in 2011 by the hyperscalers (Facebook, Google, Microsoft etc) but has now grown to include the worlds Telecommunications Service Providers and companies at various stages of the data center supply chain. A report published in March 2018 by IHS Markit forecasts a five fold increase in revenues for OCP vanity free open source hardware by 2021.

In preparation for DDI’s Networking Meet-Up for its members from the data center ecosystem in Denmark on September 11 in Odense, the Danish Data Center Industry sat with OCP Reset Catalyst and EMEA Lead John Laban for a fire-side chat on OCP’s growing community. Furthermore, John shares his thoughts on the “open” opportunities for Danish and Nordic operators, and how vendors and operators alike should embrace the OCP wave.

Danish Data Center Industry: Why is the open source model increasingly gaining traction in the industry across the world?

John Laban: Open Source technology is not a new phenomenon! This year we celebrate the 70th anniversary of “The Baby” which was the world’s first stored program-controlled computer hacked together by a group of open collaborators at Manchester University in 1948. If one studies the early innovations of those heavier than air flying machines, you will also discover that this too was an open source technology. Have you ever wondered why the parts of these flying machines use French words – fuselage, aileron – when the first flight was in the USA? This was because the Wright Brothers closed down innovation in the USA by going patents stir crazy so the open source collaboration shifted to Europe and today we use a French derived word for these heavier than air flying machines -“aeroplanes”

The largest machine created by humans is the “Open Internet” and without open collaboration and sharing the infrastructure, this machine would never have been possible. The Human Genome Project is another example of an open source technology innovation. Humans are social sharing animals and this is why we proliferate to all corners of the Earth – collaboration is burnt into our DNA.

As we build on the Open Internet that is accelerating permission less innovation, we humans are beginning to realise that we will only solve these problems through open collaboration.

Are you aware that there are no patents on Tesla cars? Ever wondered why? Openness produces better products faster so it will always win in the end.

Danish Data Center Industry: How relevant is it for operators in Denmark and which type of operations can especially benefit here?

John Laban: Those hyperscale data centres in Denmark are built using open source technologies. The new Facebook Data Centre under construction in Odense will be an OCP optimized facility, filled with vanity free open source servers, storage and network gear.

Denmark has an extensive district heating infrastructure which is ideal for plugging data centres into and OCP optimized data centres are more suited for heat reuse because technicians do not go to the back of OCP racks so it’s possible to run much hotter hot aisles than in traditional air cooled data centres. I should also mention that a liquid cooling subgroup was formed this month in the OCP community and this is by far the best match for recovering heat for district heating systems because it reduces the additional energy required for heat pumps.

OCP is relevant for Colo Data Centres and Enterprise Data Centres as well as the hyperscallers that gave birth to these open source vanity free hardware solutions back in 2011 and consume millions of OCP servers per year.

Denmark will be seeing OCP adopted in its Telephone Exchanges, and this trend is global and its happening fast. See

Danish Data Center Industry: What opportunities are there for the Danish supplier ecosystem?

John Laban: With OCP optimized data centres, the OPEX pie changes when compared to traditional data centres. Even though the energy used in an OCP data centre is less (e.g., OCP servers use up to 50% less energy and PUE’s are always better than 1.1) than in an equivalent work load traditional enterprise data centre, the percentage of the OPEX cost pie for energy is higher because of the way that OCP slashes those other costs. This change results in relocation of data centres into lower energy cost regions such as Denmark. There is a wonderful example of this in the Yahoo! Japan case study.

The opportunities are therefore vast for the Danish ecosystem, as I envision more colos and hyperscalers will be increasingly embracing the open model for these gains. And Denmark (and its Nordic neighbours) is becoming the land which hosts the worlds tech giants these days.

Danish Data Center Industry: How do you see the industry unfold in the Nordics?

John Laban: The potential for data centres in the Nordics is huge, but this will only be realized if the Nordic countries start cooperating and what’s needed now is perhaps a Nordics Data Centre Industry Association of sorts. By working together, the Nordics have the potential to suck the data centre industry out of the rest of Europe before the window of opportunity closes. And I truly believe that the time is ripe now for the Nordics to shine on the data center front. They already are in a lot of ways.


To learn more about the OCP movement from John and how it can benefit your business, we invite our Executive and Business members to sign up to the event here.

Time: September 11, 2018, 1pm – 4pm
Place: COWI, Vestre Stationsvej 7, 5000 Odense, Denmark


Considering a membership? Limited places available for prospective members. Please contact for more information.

To learn more about the OCP movement in Europe, OCP is hosting their Regional Summit in Amsterdam on October 1-2 2018. Click here to register!